Monmouth College’s Web site has seen its share of changes in recent months. A new design was unveiled late in 2009, and the content is also growing, with blogs, video and more news coverage, thanks to a recently hired team of student writers.
Now, even the language is undergoing a change, as limited Spanish content will be part of the site, according to vice president for strategic planning and marketing Don Capener.
“This experiment is an effort to try to attract and better communicate with all parents here in the United States and abroad,” Capener said. “Students and alumni of Hispanic decent have been growing dramatically in the last four years. In Chicago and some of the other regions which we consider to be our best recruiting areas, families with first-generation college prospects are looking for colleges that understand the challenges and struggles of the enrollment process. Therefore, information on the value of a college education, how to apply and how to pay a deposit will be available in Spanish.”
Eventually, the marketing communications team would like to publish all of the Web site’s content in Spanish. As of now, Spanish content can be accessed on many of the admission pages. Although some pages are already available, Capener clarified that this is a trial and not necessarily a permanent commitment.
“It would be great to provide the option to access all content in another language, but a major undertaking like this will take a large commitment in time and resources,” he said. “We are anxious to hear any response to this new content.”
Nancy Alanis, a senior from Monmouth who is majoring in business and public relations, completed the initial translations.
“Nancy represents this audience to a tee,” said Capener. “She is a first-generation college student whose parents speak a limited amount of English. She grew up in Monmouth and has had previous experience translating for the community, but I don’t think she ever imagined she would be one of the key contributors to help the local Hispanic community understand more about the college and its activities.”
Alanis will be graduating in May, which leaves a need for someone who can continue her work and expand the site.
“Our marketing and communications team has high hopes that by adding Spanish content, Monmouth College can better correspond with all Web site visitors, which should make it more attractive and helpful to a diverse audience,” said Alanis.